Recently, I experienced wardrobe malfunction when one of the straps ripped off my the cute purse I'd been using. (Yes, I use wardrobe malfunction in the loosest sense.) The bag was cute, summery, striped, and $.50 at a yard sale, so I wasn't totally heartbroken. I temporarily swapped over to this yellow bag that I made a few years ago, but it wasn't really doing it for me. It was too summery and the crossbody handbag style wasn't what I wanted. I've pinned a few bag patterns lately, and knew I had plenty of fabric in the stash if I found the perfect one. For me, the perfect purse has one exterior pocket sized to hold my phone and keys, and is big enough to hold a fair amount of stuff, while not being monstrously heavy all on it's own.
I ran across the pattern for Charlie's Aunt's Poachers Bag in the Pink Chalk Studio newsletter and thought that was a terrific candidate. The pattern is sent as a .pdf so it's instant gratification when you order it. You print it out and then for the few pieces that are too big for one sheet of paper you tape (or staple) them together. I printed, cut them out, and read over my instructions. There were a lot of pieces, but it seemed pretty straight forward. On Saturday I got to cutting fabric, and had the whole bag together by 2:30! I have had this purple tweed in my stash for well over a year. (And after this bag, I have a couple yards of it left!) I'm pretty sure it originated at the thrift store or a yard sale. I lined it with some light colored fabric with large scale flowers and birds on it.
This is a remarkably well written pattern. I've done a handful of .pdf patterns now, and almost always there is a portion of the instructions that repeat themselves or just don't make sense, and I didn't run into that at all with this one. She has you make your own interfacing with quilt batting, which was new to me, but worked beautifully. The bag has a good amount of structure without being stiff. You have the option of making a fabric strap or attaching a recycled strap from another bag, and I choose the latter. It has one gathered pocket on the exterior and one simple pocket on the inside, and it fastens with a magnetic snap. My only real criticism is that it has you do your last row of top stitching 3/4" from the top edge of the bag, which I didn't really like once it was done. I think it makes the lining look puffy in a way that closer top stitching doesn't. It is possible that I will unpick this row and redo it.
Overall, a great pattern and a terrific bag. I love how professional the front looks, and that it wasn't at all confusing or hard to do.